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Sweet Valley High - The Complete First Season



DVD Release Date: March 8, 2005 (Buena Vista Home Video)
MSRP: $49.99
Number of Discs: 3
Number of Episodes: 22
Running Time: 446 minutes
Languages, Subtitles, Closed Captioning: English; Subtitles in English & Spanish; Closed Captioned
Special Features: None

My Thoughts:

SWEET VALLEY HIGH, the hit teen series based on the equally popular book of the same name stars twin sisters Brittany and Cynthia Daniel as polar opposite identical twin sisters, Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield. They live in the suburb of Sweet Valley in Southern California. Although very different in personalities (Jessica is boy-crazy and self-absorbed while Elizabeth is good-natured and sweet) sometimes being identical twins can create entertaining adventures. For the first time, all 22 episodes of the complete first season are available on this three disc DVD set! Relive all of the misadventures of Liz and Jessica and their friends as they get involved in one crazy scheme after another and fall in and out of love.

Several episodes from Season One could be considered popular. The first episode, "Dangerous Love" in which Jessica masquerades as Liz to get a date with a college boy who ends up trying to ply her with alcohol to take advantage of her. I'm not a very big fan of the show, so it's hard for me to figure out which episodes would be considered memorable, but I'll give it a shot. "Curse of Lawrence Manson," "Secrets," "Stolen Diary," "Kidnapped" (Parts 1, 2, and 3) as well as "Say Goodbye" are all likely episodes that fans have enjoyed and would list as some of their favorites.

The cover art is pink and orange in color with a large shot of Cynthia and Brittany and underneath is the show logo followed by a publicity shot of the cast on a beach. The case is a flip fold, and it houses all three discs (this type of set, for example is used in the "Full House," "Golden Girls," and other box sets). The case is pink and orange in color and boasts some colored screen shots as well as a list of episode titles, as well as who wrote the episode and the director (no episode descriptions). Disc 1 is a cream orange color (all discs are the same design) and features a shot of Elizabeth (Cynthia Daniel) and has episodes 1-7 on it. Disc 2 features a shot of Jessica (Brittany Daniel) and has episodes 8-15. Disc 3 has a cropped cast photo and has episodes 16-22.

The main menu screen is virtually the same color design as the box set and features a simple white/pink background with the twins on each side of the menu options. There is no theme music playing. The first option is a "Play" (play all) feature that lets you watch all the episodes in a row. The second option is an "Episode Selection" that takes you to another menu screen and lists the episodes you can choose from. That menu is blue in color and a still shot of the high school with screen shots of the episode next to the title. The third option is a "trailers" option that lets you view various trailers for upcoming DVD releases as well as movie releases (which also plays when you first insert disc one). It's around five minutes in length and has quick promos for the releases of the series "Popular" as well as "Felicity" Season 4 and "Boy Meets World" Season 3 as well as a trailer for the "Chicken Little" movie. And finally a "Set Up" option which you can choose either Spanish or English subtitles.

The video is grainy at times (certain shots) but overall it's very good. It has crisp and clear video as well as the sound. No other problems were apparent. And on this set, closed captioning as well as Subtitles in English and Spanish are available. Each episode is likely unedited but they only run around 20-21 minutes in length, but that is because the show aired in first-run syndication originally. There are chapters on the episodes, so you can skip to the end fast, if you are looking for a good scene.

For this set, there were no special features made available. ABC Family aired this show recently. Maybe a promo from that at least would have been nice. Or was there even a promo made for the show when it aired on it?

In conclusion, this set is most likely going to be a must have for fans of this show. The show itself isn't that bad and it's a well put together set. Unfortunately, there were no special features made available, so that is sure to upset some of the more hard-core fans of this show. Hopefully, next time, special features can be made available. Maybe a commentary track, bloopers, or something would have been sufficient. Overall, a good set that will make fans anticipate the next release.

Final Numbers (out of 5 stars):

Video Quality: 4/5
Audio Quality: 4/5
Special Features: N/A
Menu Navigation/Design: 5/5
Overall: 4.5/5

- Reviewed by TVJunkie101 on March 2, 2005

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